10 February 2014

Making my first friend in London - The Expat Diaries Linkup

Westminster Abbey

When I first moved to London, I didn't know a soul. My first six weeks were spent in a hostel. I was working nights (remotely) on wifi that kept dropping out every 10 minutes, going cross-eyed reading and reply to ads in the search for more permanent accommodation, trying to adjust to hostel life (it was my first time), and exulting in the excitement of finally having made the move to London and simultaneously fending off the anxiety of being on my own.


Pretty swish for a hostel dont you think?
 The best thing about hostels is that you get all walks of life there and generally, because of the shared-room/facilities setup, people are more open to connecting with others. Of course there are the exceptions such as tour groups, friends travelling together, school groups, sporting team etc who tend to stick with people they know.


Our hostel came with its own knight!
I was staying in a pretty nice hostel with a huge common room, a breakfast/dining room and bar. As the days lapsed I began to notice people who weren't just passing though. There was a girl who spent each morning Skyping with someone back home, a guy who was older than the average crowd who seemed to know all the staff well, a group of young teachers who were temping at different schools while trying to find a permanent placement and home amongst a few others.

Portobello Road Markets
One evening I opted for the slightly quieter breakfast room to work and eventually found myself in the middle of the group of teachers. My ears perked up when I overheard one girl say she had found a room in a really nice area at a bargain rental rate. My first words, to what wold become my first Aussie friend in London, were when I butted into her conversation with an envious "Wow, how'd you manage that?"


Snow in Clapham Common during my first house hunt

It wasn't an instant friendship, I bumped into her a couple more times before I mustered up the courage to ask for her number and, after that, the courage to send her a text inviting her to do something.


Victoria and Albert Museum

Its not easy making friends as an expat, you just have to bite the bullet, get out of your comfort zone and speak to someone. I'm glad I did, my time in London would not have been the same without them.

Yes my new found friends we're nerds Harry Potter fans too

This post is part of the The Expat Diaries Linkup hosted by Postcards from Rachel. Pop over to her site to read more expat stories or to join in the fun.


14 comments:

  1. Making friends as an expat is difficult, you're right! I have a question about your time as a flight attendant... did you always eat the airplane food or did you bring your own? Just curious! :)

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    1. Hi Julie, I tried to always bring my own but I did get lazy. My old airline used to provide sandwiches for crew so i tried to stick to that if i had to have something.

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  2. I've gotta muster up the courage too to make new friends. I am staying with Mr.HEA at the moment in our own little flat so I don't have as many people around me on a daily basis before I find work. But still, your story is encouraging and came at an opportune time for me to take note of.

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    1. Oh im sure you wont have any problems making friends, anyone who meets you is sure to like you :)

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  3. Always hard to make new friends! We move all the time to new countries because of my Hubbys work the kids and I are always having to make new friends! Good for you what a great story! Stacey from BasketsLife

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    1. Thank you. You are probably a pro at making friends now. I still find it a bit intimidating.

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  4. Totally agreed! Making friends as an expat was totally new territory for me. In South Africa, we just had this ever expanding group of friends as more and more people became part of our crowd. I hadn't had to actively try make friends since the first day of high school! And when I moved to the UK, many of my friends were already here but bit by bit, they began to move back to South Africa and suddenly I realised I needed to make more friends. I did, through my blog, and I'm eternally happy that I did! Life is much more exciting now.

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    1. Shame your friends moved back home, that must have been hard. Its the downside of living in London, so many people are only passing through. Glad you made some new friends - blogging does seem to introduce you to interesting people.

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  5. Making new friends as an adult can be so difficult! As an expat even more so! Glad you bit the bullet and ended up with great friends to share your adventures with!
    Clicked over from the Expat Diaries bloghop!

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    1. Hi Reb! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :) It hs been difficult but i have been lucky!

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  6. Anonymous9:52 am

    Great way to make friends as an expat is to start a business!! My partner and I are both expats and started a flying school and have made so many lovely friends. I have been in London since 2006 and only really made some great friends when we started the school a year and half ago. It sounds terrible, but I just wasn't great at making friendships that lasted. It seems these friendships now, I never want to lose and feel I will put in the extra mile to make sure I never lose them.

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    1. That is an interesting way of meeting people, so glad you found something that works for you. An expat life is always better with good friends.

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